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New Investigator Laura Bilek, Ph.D.

Image with caption: Laura Bilek, Ph.D.

Laura Bilek, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Laura Bilek, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate dean for research, UNMC College of Allied Health Professions
  • Joined UNMC: 1989
  • Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa

Research focus:
Chronic disease prevention.

The goal of my research is to investigate the role of exercise in chronic disease prevention and management.

My research will make a difference because:
I'm currently involved in a study with Dr. Nancy Waltman, College of Nursing, which compares the effect of exercise on bone health in post-menopausal women. We hope the results of this study contribute to guidelines for management of early bone loss in women. I'm also a member of a research team that is exploring the link between obesity and poor outcomes in cancer survivors. My specific interest is the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, which improves survival and decreases the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

The best advice I've ever been given is:
You can do everything and be everything, you just can't do it all at once.

Three things you may not know about me

  • I live on an acreage, and my favorite pastime is to hop on the tractor to mow the pasture or grade the road.
  • I have two "hiking" dogs who join me for a nightly walk to find lots of birds and rabbits.
  • I am so average I can think of only two things.

Ceremony Jan. 17

A campus ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Durham Research Center Auditorium to recognize the award recipients, as well as the winner of the Community Service to Research Award, who will be announced later. A reception will follow. The ceremony will be livestreamed; click here or paste http://www.unmc.edu/livevideo/unmc_live1.html in your browser.

Research Award winners include:
Scientist Laureate
Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., College of Medicine

Research Leadership Award
B. Timothy Baxter, M.D., College of Medicine
Robert Lewis, Ph.D., Eppley Institute

Distinguished Scientist Award
Maneesh Jain, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Rongshi Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Mark Mailliard, M.D., College of Medicine
Kaleb Michaud, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Joseph Norman, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Matthew Rizzo, M.D., College of Medicine
Sarah Thayer, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D., College of Public Health

New Investigator Awards
Laura Bilek, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Martin Conda Sheridan, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Sung-Ho Huh, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
R. Katherine Hyde, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Kimberly Scarsi, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy
Jessica Nichols Snowden, M.D., College of Medicine
Hanjun Wang, M.D., College of Medicine
Wanfen Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine

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